Power

Power Causes Brain Damage.

“Subjects under the influence of power, he found in studies spanning two decades, acted as if they had suffered a traumatic brain injury—becoming more impulsive, less risk-aware, and, crucially, less adept at seeing things from other people’s point of view. Sukhvinder Obhi, a neuroscientist at McMaster University, in Ontario, recently described something similar. Unlike Keltner, who studies behaviors, Obhi studies brains. And when he put the heads of the powerful and the not-so-powerful under a transcranial-magnetic-stimulation machine, he found that power, in fact, impairs a specific neural process, “mirroring,” that may be a cornerstone of empathy. Which gives a neurological basis to what Keltner has termed the “power paradox”: Once we have power, we lose some of the capacities we needed to gain it in the first place.

Powerful people “stop simulating the experience of others,” Keltner says, which leads to what he calls an “empathy deficit.” This is a depressing finding. Knowledge is supposed to be power. But what good is knowing that power deprives you of knowledge?

I asked Owen, who admits to a healthy predisposition to hubris himself, whether anything helps keep him tethered to reality, something that other truly powerful figures might emulate. He shared a few strategies: thinking back on hubris-dispelling episodes from his past; watching documentaries about ordinary people; making a habit of reading constituents’ letters.”

Been in close contact with related content recently, especially with my performance management exam held on Wells Fargo and my upcoming financial accounting theory focus on earnings management. This left me wondering if there really is more to the acts we see and what exactly goes on in these heads when they made the choices and whether they had their “persons”/”toe holders” to keep them grounded as other individuals did to anchor themselves from these tides of glory.

What and how much does it take for individuals to see past themselves in their acts of service and remain grounded in the course? mm.

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“Voice” by Clara Tang

On World Literature

china-dragonThis is the second in a series of student work dedicated to interrogating creatively the concept of diaspora.

Here, Clara interrogates the relationship between language and cultural identity. The frustration and anger of the poetic voice is palpable.


“Voice”
by Clara Tang (4 November, 2016)

I.

I speak
and the soil covering this cultural home of mine
growls and spits
once the soles
of my English-laced feet
kiss its Chinese ground.

The aftermath: questions
that build on themselves like grocery lists.
Lists that become a spine of metaphors
but are all metaphoric for the same thing:

“Are you Chinese?”

When I speak, and my tongue roars
the language of the Western lion
but whispers
the language of the dragon,
I’m Chinese.

When I taste
the dragon’s fire beneath the tip of my tongue,
and the flames are ice in comparison to everyone else’s dragons,
I’m Chinese.

When the moon pushes…

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On Learning

The Learning Generation, identify with this so, so much.

“I mean, how can we claim to be sure of anything in this current world we live in. The diversity alone is incredible and our notion of teachers cannot simply remain as the professor who has written 6 award winning papers throughout his career. In complexity, learning simply cannot be held in the linearity of a single person, no matter how brilliant. Not anymore.

…And they touched me by reminding me; they said “you have always taught us that the foundation of any education or learning is trust”. Trust gives permission for a group to enter questioning that is uncomfortable. Trust allows the teacher to contend with his or her own ignorance. Trust deals with the fear we experience when we enter learning that we highly resist. And it is true, if indeed we are going to pursue new ways of learning, of listening, of embodying the perspectives and motivations of others, then for both teacher and learner it must begin with the engendering of trust. How else are we going to expect ourselves to gain a full education of how to navigate the complexities of today’s human species?

…homogenous organization just do not possess the diversity and flexibility to adapt to current day disruptions. It is the company that learns to harness the full potential and mitigate the inefficiencies of diversity that is going to succeed in the long run. The entity that only favours the intellectually smart, or only listens to the views of the elite will die its own death. For since when in the ecological state of nature has in-breeding ever thrived?

For now, I dare declare that I am an excellent teacher because I am an excellent learner. And I think that is where we must begin. ”

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too close.

so this just happened.

Worse still, it’s a suburb I have visited and love so very much – Brighton 😦

It’s too close and I cannot imagine this unfolding if it’s before my eyes. Avoiding and unseeing isn’t a thing. Seeing and consciously not doing anything isn’t a thing either. I don’t really understand this need for chaos. I try to understand and see but I still don’t get it.

Wishing so much peace and love for this beautiful world right now.

Butterfly effect needs to stop.

#whereisthelove

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veritas magis amicitiae

Chekov on cultured people

“You have often complained to me that people “don’t understand you”! Goethe and Newton did not complain of that…. Only Christ complained of it, but He was speaking of His doctrine and not of Himself…. People understand you perfectly well. And if you do not understand yourself, it is not their fault.

I assure you as a brother and as a friend I understand you and feel for you with all my heart. I know your good qualities as I know my five fingers; I value and deeply respect them. If you like, to prove that I understand you, I can enumerate those qualities. I think you are kind to the point of softness, magnanimous, unselfish, ready to share your last farthing; you have no envy nor hatred; you are simple-hearted, you pity men and beasts; you are trustful, without spite or guile, and do not remember evil…. You have a gift from above such as other people have not: you have talent. This talent places you above millions of men, for on earth only one out of two millions is an artist. Your talent sets you apart: if you were a toad or a tarantula, even then, people would respect you, for to talent all things are forgiven.

You have only one failing, and the falseness of your position, and your unhappiness and your catarrh of the bowels are all due to it. That is your utter lack of culture. Forgive me, please, but veritas magis amicitiae…. You see, life has its conditions. In order to feel comfortable among educated people, to be at home and happy with them, one must be cultured to a certain extent. Talent has brought you into such a circle, you belong to it, but … you are drawn away from it, and you vacillate between cultured people and the lodgers vis-a-vis.

Cultured people must, in my opinion, satisfy the following conditions:

  1. They respect human personality, and therefore they are always kind, gentle, polite, and ready to give in to others. They do not make a row because of a hammer or a lost piece of india-rubber; if they live with anyone they do not regard it as a favour and, going away, they do not say “nobody can live with you.” They forgive noise and cold and dried-up meat and witticisms and the presence of strangers in their homes.
  2. They have sympathy not for beggars and cats alone. Their heart aches for what the eye does not see…. They sit up at night in order to help P…., to pay for brothers at the University, and to buy clothes for their mother.
  3. They respect the property of others, and therefor pay their debts.
  4. They are sincere, and dread lying like fire. They don’t lie even in small things. A lie is insulting to the listener and puts him in a lower position in the eyes of the speaker. They do not pose, they behave in the street as they do at home, they do not show off before their humbler comrades. They are not given to babbling and forcing their uninvited confidences on others. Out of respect for other people’s ears they more often keep silent than talk.
  5. They do not disparage themselves to rouse compassion. They do not play on the strings of other people’s hearts so that they may sigh and make much of them. They do not say “I am misunderstood,” or “I have become second-rate,” because all this is striving after cheap effect, is vulgar, stale, false….
  6. They have no shallow vanity. They do not care for such false diamonds as knowing celebrities, shaking hands with the drunken P., [Translator’s Note: Probably Palmin, a minor poet.] listening to the raptures of a stray spectator in a picture show, being renowned in the taverns…. If they do a pennyworth they do not strut about as though they had done a hundred roubles’ worth, and do not brag of having the entry where others are not admitted…. The truly talented always keep in obscurity among the crowd, as far as possible from advertisement…. Even Krylov has said that an empty barrel echoes more loudly than a full one.
  7. If they have a talent they respect it. They sacrifice to it rest, women, wine, vanity…. They are proud of their talent…. Besides, they are fastidious.
  8. They develop the aesthetic feeling in themselves. They cannot go to sleep in their clothes, see cracks full of bugs on the walls, breathe bad air, walk on a floor that has been spat upon, cook their meals over an oil stove. They seek as far as possible to restrain and ennoble the sexual instinct…. What they want in a woman is not a bed-fellow … They do not ask for the cleverness which shows itself in continual lying. They want especially, if they are artists, freshness, elegance, humanity, the capacity for motherhood…. They do not swill vodka at all hours of the day and night, do not sniff at cupboards, for they are not pigs and know they are not. They drink only when they are free, on occasion…. For they want mens sana in corpore sano [a healthy mind in a healthy body].

And so on. This is what cultured people are like. In order to be cultured and not to stand below the level of your surroundings it is not enough to have read “The Pickwick Papers” and learnt a monologue from “Faust.” …

What is needed is constant work, day and night, constant reading, study, will…. Every hour is precious for it…. Come to us, smash the vodka bottle, lie down and read…. Turgenev, if you like, whom you have not read.

You must drop your vanity, you are not a child … you will soon be thirty.
It is time!
I expect you…. We all expect you.”

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On the topic of climate change,

the work done here is AMAZING.

“At the new Swiss plant, three stacked shipping containers each hold six of Climeworks’ CO2 collectors. Small fans pull air into the collectors, where a sponge-like filter soaks up carbon dioxide. It takes two or three hours to fully saturate a filter, and then the process reverses: The box closes, and the collector is heated to 212 degrees Fahrenheit, which releases the CO2 in a pure form that can be sold, made into other products, or buried underground.

“It’s a cyclic process. You saturate with CO2, then you regenerate, saturate, regenerate. You have multiple of these units, and not all of them go in parallel. Some are taking in CO2, some are releasing CO2. That means that overall the plant has continuous CO2 production, which is also important for the customer.”

In the case of the first plant, the customer is a neighboring greenhouse, which uses the CO2 to make its tomatoes and cucumbers grow faster (plants build tissue by pulling carbon from the air, and more carbon dioxide means more growth, at least to a degree). Climeworks is also in talks with beverage companies that use CO2 in sparkling water or soda–particularly in production plants that are in remote areas, where trucking in a conventional source of CO2 would be expensive.

In both cases, the captured CO2 would eventually be released back into the atmosphere. But the company also plans to use CO2 to make carbon-neutral products. Using renewable energy, it can split water (which is created as a by-product of its process) to create hydrogen, and then combine that with the carbon dioxide in various processes to create plastics (for example, for recycled CO2 sneakers) or fuel.

Because there isn’t yet a global price on carbon, the company imagines that the first customers might be corporations that need help reaching ambitious climate goals. After adopting more obvious solutions, like renewable energy, increased efficiency, and changes in materials or transportation, a company might turn to negative emissions to help it offset the remainder of its footprint.

“Air capture costs money, so anything we can do which is cheaper than air capture, we should do it, definitely,” says Wurzbacher. “But we’ll need this on top of that. And we’ll not only need to develop it today, but we need to start scaling it today if we want to be able to put away these 10 gigatons every year by 2040 or 2050.” ”

such exciting times are for humanity, when innovation and belief come together to resolve such a trying issue, one that has no material or foreseeable benefit except our usual “it’s good for us”, but plenty of insurmountable consequences to spare, beyond our imaginations. Especially exciting if it’s done in a way that corporations will understand – what of the professional jargon of “CSRs” and “environmental goals” that essentially serves the needs of people of our future. So much to achieve when people move past the NIMBY

when will humanity learn?

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